VA-Gov: McDonnell Soars in New SUSA Poll

SurveyUSA (7/27-28, likely voters, 6/5-7 in parens):

Creigh Deeds (D): 40 (43)

Bob McDonnell (R): 55 (47)

Jody Wagner (D): 42

Bill Bolling (R-inc): 54

Steve Shannon (D): 42

Ken Cuccinelli (R): 53

(MoE: ±4.3%)

Whoa, those are some pug-ugly numbers for Democrats. Sure, McDonnell has gained back a bit of ground in recent weeks after Deeds’ primary bounce faded, but are things really this bad for Team Blue? (The second and third head-to-heads listed here are the Lt. Governor and Attorney General races, respectively.)

One note of caution is that SUSA’s voter ID composition for this poll has gyrated fairly significantly in the Republican direction. Back in June, their general election poll was composed of a 36% Dem, 34% GOP sample. This time, the poll is 38% Republican, 32% Dem. That’s an unusually favorable spread for the GOP; recent polls by R2K and PPP had 39D-32R and 34D-33R samples, respectively. Not coincidentally, those pollsters also showed a tighter gubernatorial race.

UPDATE: One thing that I missed in my first scan of the poll is that SUSA asked voters who they picked for President in 2008… and according to this sample, it was 52-43 in John McCain’s favor. (Obama won Virginia by 53-46.) Now, it could be that McCain fans are feeling pumped up these days and Obama voters are still taking a jenga break, but it’s clear that we’re dealing with a very different universe of voters here.

RaceTracker: VA-Gov

72 thoughts on “VA-Gov: McDonnell Soars in New SUSA Poll”

  1. The Governor and Attorney General numbers are pretty bad but are those Lt.Gov. numbers real? How is it that Jody Wagner is leading an incumbent by 12 points without it even being labor day yet? Is Bolling that unpopular?    

  2. Dem rank and file won’t turn out for any kind of election these days. It’s going to take a lot of personal appearances and tv commercials in NoVA by Obama for Deeds to have a chance. Deeds will have decent margins, just poor turnout in the areas he needs it for.

  3. I’ve been saying this will be a horrible year for us, but most people on here were convinced we were invincible and 2006/08 rompings would continue.  I think we lose both NJ and VA in walks sadly.

  4. It seems that every poll that has been released recently shows the Democratic candidate performing below expectations.  Some of the races, specifically NJ-Gov and CT-Sen, are less surprising because of the candidate’s own problems.  But others, like the CA-Sen and the VA-Gov poll truly looks depressing.  

    The Democrats need to communicate to the general electorate that fixing the Healthcare crisis will reap benefits for the economy.  Many less-knowledged individuals are wondering why the Democrats are “fixated” on Healthcare while the economy remains in shambles.  The conservatives are leading a miscommunication campaign about Healthcare, and we need to do a better job of rebutting this miscommunication.

    Regarding the VA-Gov race, what is shocking is that McDonnell is now leading among Independents by a 60-35% margin, as compared to 44-42% in June.  If you change the party affiliation to 36%D/34%R, McDonnell would have a lead of about 50-43%.  It’s not too late for these numbers to change, but it’s an uphill climb.

  5. Obama can’t get down there fast enough.  That said, I seriously think this is an outlier — Steve Shannon, for example, is a terrific, moderate candidate who has the backing of the law enforcement community (uncommon for Democrats in VA from what I understand) and he’s down by double digits?

    Between a fading post-primary bounce, an inexplicable eight-point swing in Party ID composition, and the fact that this is seemingly an outlier regardless, I think that all explains the horrid numbers.  Take this one with a huge grain of salt.

  6. They had Coleman leading Franken in every poll by at least 9 points. I always think their polls favor republican candidates and overstate them. Rasmussen, a republican pollster, had it 44% to 41% in favor of McDonnell.

  7. However, I’ll point out that if McDonnell wins, particularly if it’s by double digits, he automatically becomes the best horse in the GOP stable for 2012.  He’s handsome, charismatic, and will be electorally successful.  Obama needs to beat him now so he doesn’t have to beat him in three years.

  8. McDonnell has a 56% to 41% lead in Northeast Virginia. Does this make sense to any of you that a republican, especially a conservative republican would even be leading there, especially by a margin of 15%??????? I think we may have a case of push polling going on here.

  9. and relax.

    This is one poll. One poll in the overall picture doesnt point to the end of someone (esp this far out) or automatically bring into question how trustworthy one of the biggest polling companies in the nation are.

    Wait for the next poll to come out. If Deeds is still so far behind, then you Democrats can worry 😉 Im not going to get too excited over this one poll until I see more of a trend. However, McDonnell has been the one with the wind in his sails lately.

  10. It’s hard for me to believe that it is really this bad, but we seem to be getting poll after poll in the last month or two showing the Democrat under performing prior expectations.  Even if this poll is way off, it still provides further evidence that Democrats may be facing an uphill political climate in 2010.  Of course if the economy starts to turn around, I think our numbers will start to rebound as well.

  11. It will be a different universe of voters next year but that seems a little on the extreme side. Obama might just have to move to NoVa to pull Deeds over the top mind. We know the WH knows they can’t afford to lose both races this fall from the Wilder article so in this case I’m confident the president will do his bit to get African Americans in particular out to vote.

  12. Now that is definitely off. Are there any math wizzes here who can recalibrate the statewide numbers when this discrepancy is taken into account?

  13. The internals are all screwed up, and nothing has happened in the race in the past month or so that would account for this big a shift towards the GOP. I can believe McDonnell is ahead, but not by 15.

  14. Trying to tie Deeds to Washington Democrats. It seems to be working. Also, Deeds has been ducking Obama and Doug Wilder for some reason doesn’t want to endorse him.  

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